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Aldridge Road/Birdbrook Road

Perry Beeches, Great Barr

Birmingham

B44 8RA


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Published on 27 March 2020

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DIY SUNDAY SERVICE
PASSION SUNDAY
29 MARCH 2020

HOW TO BEGIN

Today we start thinking about the Passion of the Lord.  So a Cross as a focus of attention would be particularly appropriate.  You could also light a candle, or use an Icon or open Bible as a focus of attention.  Place these on a purple or red cloth, if you have one.

OPENING PRAYER

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ

For all the benefits Thou hast given me

For all the pains and insults

Thou hast borne for me

O most merciful Redeemer

Friend and brother

May I know Thee more clearly

Love Thee more dearly

Follow Thee more nearly




If you're able, please join our group prayer at 10.30 by phoning

0333 113 0100 or  0333 011 0616 


Enter the access code: 149 9488, when prompted.

Don’t Forget the Clocks go forward one hour this morning

SEE THE “GODSPELL” VERSION

ST JOHN’S GOSPEL, 11.1-44
FROM “THE MESSAGE” BIBLE PARAPHRASE
IN DIALOGUE FORM

Ideally this needs to be read by five readers:  Storyteller, Martha, Mary, Jesus, and Thomas – and all together for a couple of bits.  But you could do it alone, reading silently and voicing aloud only one part (then, if you want to, repeat the reading voicing a different character).  Or if there are two of you, one person could be Storyteller/ Jesus, and another could read all the other parts.  Be creative.  The point is to try to enter into the story and get a sense of each character.


1-3 A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus,


[Mary & Martha:]  “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”


4 When Jesus got the message, he said,


[Jesus:]  “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”


5-7 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. After the two days, he said to his disciples,


[Jesus:]  “Let’s go back to Judea.”


[Disciples:]  8  “Rabbi, you can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill you, and you’re going back?”


 [Jesus:] 9-10 “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn’t stumble because there’s plenty of light from the sun. Walking at night, he might very well stumble because he can’t see where he’s going.”

11 He then announced,


[Jesus:]  “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I’m going to wake him up.”

 

[Disciples:] 12-13 “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.”


Jesus was talking about death, while his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap.  

14-15 Then Jesus became explicit:


[Jesus:]  “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”


16 That’s when Thomas, the one called the Twin, said to his companions,


[Thomas:]  “Come along. We might as well die with him.”


17-20 When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.

 

[Martha:]  21-22 “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”

 

[Jesus:]  23 “Your brother will be raised up.”


[Martha:] 24 “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”


[Jesus:]  25-26 “You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”


[Martha:]  27 “Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”


28 After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear,


[Martha:]  “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”


29-32 The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying,


[Mary:]  “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”


33-34 When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him.


[Jesus:]  “Where did you put him?”


[All:]  34-35 “Master, come and see,”


Now Jesus wept.


[All:]  36  “Look how deeply he loved him.”


37 But others among them said,


[All:]  “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”


38-39 Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it.


[Jesus:]  “Remove the stone.”


[Martha:] “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”


40 Jesus looked her in the eye.


[Jesus:]  “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”


41-42 Then he said to the others,


[Jesus:]   “Go ahead, take away the stone.”


They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed,


[Jesus:]  “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”


43-44 Then he shouted,


[Jesus:]  “Lazarus, come out!”


And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.


[Jesus:] “Unwrap him and let him loose.”



SERMON BY PAUL PHIPPS


CLICK THE PHOTO TO HEAR THE SERMON


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HYMN

THOU ART THE WAY


OFFERTORY

Find a photograph of a departed loved one and place it beside your candle/ cross/ icon/ Bible.  (It was actually the practice of St John Henry Newman to have together on display in his room images of the Saints together with pictures of his departed relatives and friends.)  Think of how Jesus has wept with you in your grief.  Think of how, as our Good Shepherd, he holds the living and the departed in his hands.  Think of how we shall be reunited in eternity.  And then recollect that in eternity we shall experience these and all our relationships as never before – made perfect by the transforming power of the death and resurrection of Christ for us all.


HYMN
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE


PRAYERS

A PRAYER FOR THIS TIME OF WORLDWIDE SICKNESS


This prayer came through my door this week.  It was a photocopied sheet.  A bit of Googling reveals that it originates from the Roman Catholic Church in Madagascar:


Almighty and merciful Father
You show your love to all creation

We come before you asking for a quick control
of the Coronavirus currently ravaging our world

Hear graciously the prayers we make for those
affected by the virus in various parts of the world

Grant healing to the sick, eternal life to the dead
and consolation to the bereaved families

We pray that an effective medicine to
combat the sickness may be speedily found

We pray for the relevant governments and health authorities
that they take appropriate steps for the good of the people

Look upon us in your mercy and forgive us our failings

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord     Amen

HYMN:  
FROM THEE ALL SKILL AND SCIENCE FLOW


A PRAYER FOR THE NEW DEANERY OF
HANDSWORTH & CENTRAL BIRMINGHAM

Hear our prayer O Lord
For our Deanery of Handsworth & Central Birmingham

Hear our prayer for the outer estate and inner city areas
And for the city centre churches

We pray for Bishop David and Bishop Anne
And all the leadership of our Diocese
As today they Licence our new Area Dean Fr Douglas

Please bless Fr Douglas in his new work
Of helping us work together and in our individual Parishes
For the advancement of your Kingdom
And for the building up of your Church
According to your mind and heart and will

We pray for our city, nation and world
In these challenging times
That the prayers of all people of faith
May be united with the self-offering of Jesus
For our salvation in this age and in eternity  AMEN

Please add your own prayers for family, friends and neighbours
For St Matthew’s worshipping community
And all with whom we share our lives
And conclude with THE LORD’S PRAYER



HYMN:
LIFT HIGH THE CROSS


HOW TO END

Make a drink (something a bit celebratory) and talk about the experience of this morning’s worship.  Phone a friend to tell them about it – and hear their news or reflections.